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Category Archives: force protection

CNO and MCPON Message to the Fleet on Coronavirus

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith

Shipmates, the spread of the coronavirus is something that we are taking very seriously.
 
While many of you may be anxious, worried, or wondering what happens next, leadership at every level is actively engaged on this issue.
 
Our No. 1 concern is the health and the safety of you, our Sailors – active and reserve, uniformed and civilian – as well as your families. We’re suspending official, personal, and PCS travel for the next 60 days both IN-CONUS and to designated locations OCONUS, as well as encouraging flexible work schedules and the use of telework – all designed to slow the virus’ spread.
 
For now, we must use an abundance of caution. Keep an eye on your Sailors and continue to follow the guidelines of health officials – which includes washing your hands more often, avoiding public gatherings, and staying away from others if you’re sick. Don’t be a hero.
 
Our understanding of the coronavirus is rapidly evolving, and we may have to implement further measures to combat the spread of this virus.
 
America depends upon us to help provide security and stability to this nation, and that’s exactly what we will continue to do.
 
Stay safe, Shipmates. Our nation depends on you.

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2020/03/14/cno-and-mcpon-message-to-the-fleet-on-coronavirus/ U.S. Navy

Masters-at-Arms: Protecting the Fleet

By Master Chief Master-at-Arms Melissa Old

It’s been a difficult few weeks for the U.S. Navy family. We have lost three young Sailors at Naval Air Station Pensacola, another at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and two civilians at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The question has been asked: What is the Navy doing to protect our Sailors and Navy civilians? The answer is force protection.

Force protection (FPCON) entails the measures the Navy takes to protect Sailors and civilians, deter threats, and defend Navy installations and equipment. There are five FPCON levels every Sailor learns at boot camp. These dictate the posture as our security forces stand their watch and any additional measures put in place, from more watches to closure of a base. But the security of the U.S. Navy is not as simple as declaring an FPCON level.

The safety of Navy bases and personnel is our highest priority, and there are extensive programs, detailed processes and procedures to protect Sailors, civilian employees, family members, facilities and equipment. This protection is accomplished through the planned and integrated application of training, qualifications, law enforcement, anti-terrorism activities, physical security, and operations security.

Master-At-Arms 2nd Class Nichole Lowery instructs Sailors during a sunrise yoga session on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as a part of Suicide Prevention Month. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Liaghat/Released)

The professionals who execute Navy force protection are the masters-at-arms (MAs). An MA is a security specialist who performs antiterrorism, physical security and basic law enforcement duties. Each master-at-arms goes through various force protection training courses, from engaging ship-born threats to active-shooter scenarios. This extensive training and preparation gives our MAs (and other Navy security personnel) the knowledge to counter possible threats and neutralize them. MAs also train with base police and local police departments to ensure Sailors and law enforcement understand procedures so we can work together to quickly respond to any threat.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Sept. 14, 2012) Master-at-Arms 1st Class Nicholas Fessler, left, instructs Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Christy Nevarez how to perform a security pat-down during a non-combatant evacuation drill aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adam D. Wainwright/Released)

Each year, senior leadership looks at all the training completed and revises the curriculum based on new information or situations that have come up throughout the year. Lessons learned become new procedures, which are then taught and practiced until they become second nature.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Bowie, a mess deck master-at-arms, adjusts holiday decorations after a meal aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alora R. Blosch)

It’s too soon to know what changes may come from the events of the past few weeks, but  I can tell you this:

We are armed, qualified, and trained to provide security and safety for our people. As these threats evolve, we as a community will counter them. It is our mission to protect those who serve, and the U.S. Navy security forces have the watch.

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/12/13/masters-at-arms-protecting-the-fleet/ U.S. Navy

Enhanced Force Protection for Navy Recruiters

By Rear Admiral Jeff Hughes
Former commander, Navy Recruiting Command

CHATANOOGA, Tenn. (July 16, 2015) Police tape and a makeshift memorial frame the scene at an Armed Forces Career Center, where earlier in the day an active shooter opened fire, injuring one U.S. Marine. The gunman later moved to the nearby Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) firing multiple shots, killing four Marines and injuring one Sailor. (U.S. Navy photo by Damon J. Moritz/Released)
CHATANOOGA, Tenn. (July 16, 2015) Police tape and a makeshift memorial frame the scene at an Armed Forces Career Center, where earlier in the day an active shooter opened fire, injuring one U.S. Marine. The gunman later moved to the nearby Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) firing multiple shots, killing four Marines and injuring one Sailor. (U.S. Navy photo by Damon J. Moritz/Released)

It has been two years since the attack on the Navy Recruiting Station and Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Over the years, the Navy has developed a robust anti-terrorism force protection (ATFP) program to support our afloat units and ashore forces on Navy installations, however, it took this tragic incident to highlight the vulnerability of protecting our Sailors in areas across the country that are outside the confines of a base. This is certainly of great concern to our Navy recruiting force. Our recruiters operate in hundreds of stations across the country that must be readily accessible to prospective applicants in the communities in which we serve. The increasing threat of homegrown violent extremists, foreign terrorist organizations, disgruntled applicants and criminals, however, required an immediate culture shift to ensure we mitigate this operational risk to our recruiters while still performing our no-fail mission to source the fleet.

The safety of our recruiters is commander’s business and was my responsibility. Since assuming command of Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) seven weeks after the Chattanooga attack, my number one priority was to enhance force protection in NRC. Serving in the Navy comes with a degree of operational risk, but we now fully appreciate that it exists in the CONUS area of responsibility. Thus, the Navy recruiting force has rapidly improved its vigilance and taken an active role in improving its operational posture.

As we developed our enhanced ATFP program, we made sweeping changes throughout the command, both at the headquarters and field levels, to include new policy, guidance, and training to enable us to operate in this challenging and complex environment. It all starts at the individual level, especially in a command with as much dispersion as we require. Every recruiter is markedly more attentive to their environment. They are better at sensing and reporting things that are suspicious or out of the ordinary. They all know and drill to their individual response plans that are nested inside of each station’s tailored emergency action plan. Each station team has fostered active relationships with their local law enforcement partners and included them in planning and exercises. I routinely observed individual recruiters and station leaders making sound force protection decisions when indications and warning dictated or when incidents actually occurred.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2015) A memorial stands outside of the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The memorial honors the four Marines and one Sailor who were killed as a result of the shooting in the Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2015) A memorial stands outside of the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The memorial honors the four Marines and one Sailor who were killed as a result of the shooting in the Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)

 

At the national and district command levels, we now have an effective command and control (C2) structure in place that enables rapid information flow throughout the tactical control for force protection (TACON for FP) and NRC chains of command. We instituted a robust security department at NRC headquarters that serves as a fusion point for information flow and coordination with numerous ATFP partners across the community of interest. These partnerships – U.S. Fleet Forces Command, the Commander Navy Installation Command Region staffs, Navy Criminal Investigative Service, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the other services and the federal/state/local law enforcement agencies – are critical to better sensing and anticipating the threat, and coordinating responses. Each district command HQ now has a dedicated anti-terrorism officer who is solely focused on all aspects of this problem set and a critical node in our C2 architecture, especially the partnerships at the district level.

We have also included physical security upgrades to better harden our facilities such as controlled access systems, means to obscure the ability for a potential threat to see inside a station while improving the ability of recruiters to see out and fielding ballistic protection shields.

This program is comprehensive, encompassing risk management, mitigation planning, training and exercises, assessments, resource management and program reviews. Some of the key tasks include threat assessment through risk determination, development of pre-planned responses and random anti-terrorism measures, regular security and ATFP exercise drills to test preparedness and response, and the detailed analysis and assessment of the full program to determine compliance with Department of Defense and Navy Anti-Terrorism requirements.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 26, 2015) - Rachael Hendrickson and her son, Chattanooga, Tenn. natives, kneel to view the memorial at the Armed Forces Recruitment Center. The memorial honors the four Marines and one Sailor who died in the Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 26, 2015) – Rachael Hendrickson and her son, Chattanooga, Tenn. natives, kneel to view the memorial at the Armed Forces Recruitment Center. The memorial honors the four Marines and one Sailor who died in the Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)

 

As with any effects chain, successfully deterring a threat with a credible response is certainly desired. That is what we strive to achieve with our armed sentry watchstanding team. The watchstanders are selectively screened recruiters who receive formal armed sentry and scenario-based use of force training, and are qualified in the employment of lethal and less-than-lethal measures for the equipment they carry. The concept of operations is that they stand watch in our recruiting stations in a random coverage pattern similar to that of air marshals on an airliner – people know the program exists, you just don’t know if one is on your flight. Our sentries are in uniform, but you may not know they are in a station. They receive regular sustainment training on a quarterly, semi-annual and annual basis to include academic and practical hands-on training and must continuously meet strict standards and expectations of their roles in this program.

The safety and security of our recruiting team is and will always be the command’s highest priority. This challenging threat environment is a reality and will likely perpetuate but we will also continue to evolve. We are rapidly learning, adapting and remaining always vigilant.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/07/20/enhanced-force-protection-for-navy-recruiters/ U.S. Navy

Enhanced Force Protection for Navy Recruiters

By Rear Admiral Jeff Hughes
Former commander, Navy Recruiting Command

CHATANOOGA, Tenn. (July 16, 2015) Police tape and a makeshift memorial frame the scene at an Armed Forces Career Center, where earlier in the day an active shooter opened fire, injuring one U.S. Marine. The gunman later moved to the nearby Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) firing multiple shots, killing four Marines and injuring one Sailor. (U.S. Navy photo by Damon J. Moritz/Released)
CHATANOOGA, Tenn. (July 16, 2015) Police tape and a makeshift memorial frame the scene at an Armed Forces Career Center, where earlier in the day an active shooter opened fire, injuring one U.S. Marine. The gunman later moved to the nearby Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) firing multiple shots, killing four Marines and injuring one Sailor. (U.S. Navy photo by Damon J. Moritz/Released)

It has been two years since the attack on the Navy Recruiting Station and Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Over the years, the Navy has developed a robust anti-terrorism force protection (ATFP) program to support our afloat units and ashore forces on Navy installations, however, it took this tragic incident to highlight the vulnerability of protecting our Sailors in areas across the country that are outside the confines of a base. This is certainly of great concern to our Navy recruiting force. Our recruiters operate in hundreds of stations across the country that must be readily accessible to prospective applicants in the communities in which we serve. The increasing threat of homegrown violent extremists, foreign terrorist organizations, disgruntled applicants and criminals, however, required an immediate culture shift to ensure we mitigate this operational risk to our recruiters while still performing our no-fail mission to source the fleet.

The safety of our recruiters is commander’s business and was my responsibility. Since assuming command of Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) seven weeks after the Chattanooga attack, my number one priority was to enhance force protection in NRC. Serving in the Navy comes with a degree of operational risk, but we now fully appreciate that it exists in the CONUS area of responsibility. Thus, the Navy recruiting force has rapidly improved its vigilance and taken an active role in improving its operational posture.

As we developed our enhanced ATFP program, we made sweeping changes throughout the command, both at the headquarters and field levels, to include new policy, guidance, and training to enable us to operate in this challenging and complex environment. It all starts at the individual level, especially in a command with as much dispersion as we require. Every recruiter is markedly more attentive to their environment. They are better at sensing and reporting things that are suspicious or out of the ordinary. They all know and drill to their individual response plans that are nested inside of each station’s tailored emergency action plan. Each station team has fostered active relationships with their local law enforcement partners and included them in planning and exercises. I routinely observed individual recruiters and station leaders making sound force protection decisions when indications and warning dictated or when incidents actually occurred.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2015) A memorial stands outside of the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The memorial honors the four Marines and one Sailor who were killed as a result of the shooting in the Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2015) A memorial stands outside of the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The memorial honors the four Marines and one Sailor who were killed as a result of the shooting in the Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)

 

At the national and district command levels, we now have an effective command and control (C2) structure in place that enables rapid information flow throughout the tactical control for force protection (TACON for FP) and NRC chains of command. We instituted a robust security department at NRC headquarters that serves as a fusion point for information flow and coordination with numerous ATFP partners across the community of interest. These partnerships – U.S. Fleet Forces Command, the Commander Navy Installation Command Region staffs, Navy Criminal Investigative Service, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the other services and the federal/state/local law enforcement agencies – are critical to better sensing and anticipating the threat, and coordinating responses. Each district command HQ now has a dedicated anti-terrorism officer who is solely focused on all aspects of this problem set and a critical node in our C2 architecture, especially the partnerships at the district level.

We have also included physical security upgrades to better harden our facilities such as controlled access systems, means to obscure the ability for a potential threat to see inside a station while improving the ability of recruiters to see out and fielding ballistic protection shields.

This program is comprehensive, encompassing risk management, mitigation planning, training and exercises, assessments, resource management and program reviews. Some of the key tasks include threat assessment through risk determination, development of pre-planned responses and random anti-terrorism measures, regular security and ATFP exercise drills to test preparedness and response, and the detailed analysis and assessment of the full program to determine compliance with Department of Defense and Navy Anti-Terrorism requirements.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 26, 2015) - Rachael Hendrickson and her son, Chattanooga, Tenn. natives, kneel to view the memorial at the Armed Forces Recruitment Center. The memorial honors the four Marines and one Sailor who died in the Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 26, 2015) – Rachael Hendrickson and her son, Chattanooga, Tenn. natives, kneel to view the memorial at the Armed Forces Recruitment Center. The memorial honors the four Marines and one Sailor who died in the Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga July 16, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)

 

As with any effects chain, successfully deterring a threat with a credible response is certainly desired. That is what we strive to achieve with our armed sentry watchstanding team. The watchstanders are selectively screened recruiters who receive formal armed sentry and scenario-based use of force training, and are qualified in the employment of lethal and less-than-lethal measures for the equipment they carry. The concept of operations is that they stand watch in our recruiting stations in a random coverage pattern similar to that of air marshals on an airliner – people know the program exists, you just don’t know if one is on your flight. Our sentries are in uniform, but you may not know they are in a station. They receive regular sustainment training on a quarterly, semi-annual and annual basis to include academic and practical hands-on training and must continuously meet strict standards and expectations of their roles in this program.

The safety and security of our recruiting team is and will always be the command’s highest priority. This challenging threat environment is a reality and will likely perpetuate but we will also continue to evolve. We are rapidly learning, adapting and remaining always vigilant.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/07/20/enhanced-force-protection-for-navy-recruiters/ U.S. Navy